This policy outlines the Department of Justice and Community Safety's expectations for the appropriate management of offers of, and the provision of, gifts, benefits and hospitality by departmental officials.
This policy applies to all administrative areas of the department and to agencies for whom the Secretary is the employer. The policy applies to all departmental officials, including executive officers and employees covered by the Victorian Public Service Enterprise Agreement 2020. It also applies to workplace participants including (but not limited to) locally engaged staff in the department's offices, trainees, university and work experience students, apprentices, cadets and volunteers who perform work for or on behalf of the department.
It also applies to agency on-hire staff and contractors who the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner has specifically identified as being bound by the Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees 2015 (the Code). These people include those who:
- supervise public sector employees
- undertake work that is of a similar nature to the work undertaken by public sector
- employees at premises or a location generally regarded as a public sector workplace
- use or have access to public sector resources or information that are not normally accessible or available to the public.
Statement of policy
Departmental officials are expected to:
- not solicit gifts, benefits or hospitality for themselves or any other individual
- only ever accept offers of gifts benefits or hospitality valued at $50 or more where there is a legitimate business purpose and approval is sought beforehand
- ensure that any gift or hospitality is provided for a business purpose in that it:
- furthers the conduct of official business or other legitimate organisational goals, or
- promotes and supports government policy objectives and priorities
- record all offers of gifts, benefits or hospitality valued at $50 or more, whether accepted or not (this includes where several offers are made from one organisation and when combined are valued at $50 or more)
- notify Risk and Integrity Culture if a supplier or external company makes numerous offers of gifts, benefits or hospitality
- ensure public funds are not spent on staff social events. This includes Christmas functions and events that celebrate personal milestones.
Register all offers valued at $50 or more
All offers of gifts, benefits or hospitality valued at $50 or more must be registered (whether accepted or rejected) on the department's standard registration form, authorised and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Information about all offers will be consolidated on the department’s gift register.
A redacted register will be published on this website annually.
Offers that must be refused
Departmental officials are expected to refuse all offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality:
- that could be reasonably perceived as undermining their or the department’s integrity and impartiality
- from individuals or organisations about whom they are likely to make decisions, especially those involved in:
- contract management
- tender processes
- that are money or items easily converted to money such as gift vouchers, debit cards and shares
- that come from current suppliers, other than token offers of basic courtesy such as tea and coffee during a meeting
- that offer free services outside of a contractual arrangement
- that are bribes, and report bribery attempts to the Secretary.
Providing gifts, benefits or hospitality
Department officials should ensure that any costs involved in the provision of gifts and hospitality are proportionate to the benefits obtained for the State, and would be considered reasonable in terms of community expectations.
The provision of gifts, benefits or hospitality should be allocated to one of the following finance line codes:
- 86025 Light Work Lunch/Meeting/Non-Staff Entertainment No FBT
- 86026 Entertainment/Functions/Restaurant Meals FBT
- or the equivalent account for your entities finance system where your entity does not use the DJCS chart of accounts.
|A gift is an item of value which one person or organisation provides to another for no, or greatly reduced, cost. E.g. bottles of wine, commemorative plaques, pens, key-rings, mouse pads, books and tickets to events.
|Benefits are preferential treatment, privileged access, favours and other advantage offered e.g. invitations to sporting, cultural or social events, access to discounts and loyalty programs, and promises of a new job.
|Hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests, ranging from light refreshment at a business meeting to restaurant meals and sponsored travel and accommodation.
Actions inconsistent with this policy may constitute misconduct under the Public Administration Act 2004.
Non-disciplinary and disciplinary action, including dismissal, may be taken where an individual fails to adhere to this policy.
The Department will communicate its policy on the offering and provision of gifts, benefits and hospitality to contractors, consultants and other business associates. Those identified as acting inconsistently with this policy may be subject to contract re-negotiation, including termination.
For further information on managing breaches of this policy, please contact email@example.com .
Individuals who consider that gifts, benefits and hospitality within the department may not have been declared or not been appropriately managed should speak up and notify their manager or a Public Interest Disclosure Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Department of Justice and Community Safety will take decisive action, including possible disciplinary action, against individuals who discriminate against or victimise those who Speak Up in good faith.
Related policy and other documents
- Public Administration Act 2004
- Code of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector Employees 2015
- Code of Conduct for employees of special bodies 2015
- GBH Registration form
- Gifts, benefits and hospitality framework
- Speak Up Guidelines
- Public Interest Disclosures guidelines
- Supplier Code of Conduct
- Minimum accountabilities
- Appropriate acceptance or rejection of GBH
- How to respectfully decline offers
- Appropriate provision of GBH to staff or stakeholders
- Conflict of interest policy
This policy is issued under the authority of the Director, Integrity and Investigations, and is subject to annual review.
The contents of this document represent the current policy of the department and reflect its current practices and experience.
The following people may be contacted in relation to the matters arising under this policy:
- Director, Integrity and Investigations 0484 646 389
- Senior Specialist, Integrity Culture 0437 730 517
- or email: email@example.com